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CONTENTS 




12 LOUIS BOHEME 



MENKES SHOONER DAGENAIS LETOURNEUX ARCHITECTES COMPOSE A SYMPHONY OF 
ARCHITECTURAL GESTURES IN A REFRESHINGLY UNPRETENTIOUS CONDOMINIUM PROJECT IN 
MONTREAL, text ODILE HENAULT 



18 TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX 



KUWABARA PAYNE MCKENNA BLUMBERG ARCHITECTS AND KIRKOR ARCHITECTS TACKLE 
A CULTURALLY SIGNIFICANT PROJECT ON A PROMINENT SITE IN DOWNTOWN TORONTO. 
text LESLIE JEN 



25 WADI HANIFAH 



MORIYAMA & TESHIMA PLANNERS UNLEASH SOME FAIRLY IMPRESSIVE LANDSCAPE MANOEUV- 
RES IN SAUDI ARABIA, RESULTING IN AN AWARD-WINNING PROJECT THAT CELEBRATES A SUS- 
TAINABLE FUTURE, text ELSA LAM 



9 NEWS 

Quadrangle Architects unveil Ontario's 
next generation of highway service centres; 
City of Edmonton park pavilion architec- 
tural design competition. 

32 CALENDAR 

WE: Vancouver— i? Manifestos for the City at 
the Vancouver Art Gallery; Norway-based 
Canadian architect Todd Saunders lectures 
in Toronto. 

34 BACKPAGE 

John Martins -Manteiga writes about the 
dying tradition of the exuberantly expres- 
sive hand-painted sign. 




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FEBRUARY 2011, V.56 N.02 



THE NATIONAL REVIEW OF DESIGN AND PRACTICE/ 
THE JOURNAL OF RECORD OF THE RAIC 



cover TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX IN TORONTO BY 
KUWABARA PAYNE MCKENNA BLUMBERG 
ARCHITECTS AND KIRKOR ARCHITECTS. PHOTO 
BY MARIS MEZULIS. 



02/11 CANADIAN ARCHITECT 5 



VIEWPOINT 



OF CRITICAL RELEVANCE 



Architects are becoming increasingly comfort- 
able with abandoning the burdens of criticality in 
architectural theory, instead favouring approach- 
es to design practice that are grounded in colla- 
boration and making. Has the allure of opaque 
architectural theory been replaced by an appetite 
for honing skills that improve our ability to 
innovate? 

For many years, the academy has been promo- 
ting a sense of criticality in architecture, yet there 
is an indication that this trend is breaking down. 
Nearly 10 years ago, Sarah Whiting, the current 
dean of the Rice School of Architecture, began to 
speak about "projective architecture" as a re- 
action to a formulaic method of criticism prom- 
ulgated by theoreticians like K. Michael Hays and 
architect-iconoclast Peter Eisenman. In 2002, 
Whiting, along with Robert Somol, published an 
essay entitled "Notes Around the Doppler Effect 
and Other Moods of Modernism" in which they 
write, "So when architects engage topics that are 
seemingly outside of architecture's historically 
defined scope— questions of economics or civic 
politics, for example— they don't engage those 
topics as experts on economics or civic politics, 
but, rather, as experts on design and how design 
may affect economics of politics." For Whiting, 
it is important that she not be misunderstood as 
being "post- critical" but would prefer that we 
use our intellectual and critical capacities as 
architects to remain relevant in contemporary 
society. 

As a form of a rebuttal to Whiting and other 
leading academics such as Michael Speaks who 
decry the theoretical stagnation in contemporary 
academia, George Baird, the Toronto-based 
architect, educator and 2010 RAIG Gold Medal- 
list, published an essay in late 2004 entitled 
"Criticality and Its Discontents." One can 
sympathize with Baird' s fear that the "putatively 
'projective' forms of practice being advocated by 
the critics of criticality" have yet to offer a viable 
alternative to well- entrenched critical approach- 
es to architecture. Without criticality, Baird feels 
that "architecture could all too easily find itself 
conceptually and ethically adrift." In the January 
2011 issue of Architectural Record, Baird reiterated 
his concerns regarding today's architect de- 
veloping an "impatience with dwelling on critical 
and theoretical concerns— as opposed to con- 
siderations having to do with architectural 
practice," adding that "the new generation's 
emphasis on pragmatic, open-ended architec- 
tural concerns could lead to a certain amorality 
in outlook." If this is true, then why aren't we 
dusting off our books by Italian historian and 
critic Manfredo Tafuri, French philosopher 



Jacques Derrida, or American literary critic 
Fredric Jameson to solve the design problems 
of today? 

Is our profession heading for a disaster as a 
result of shifting away from tired approaches to 
critical thinking? Bruce Mau doesn't think so. 
In fact, his essay entitled "You Can Do Better" 
published in January 2011' s Architect magazine 
asserts that our obsession with cynicism, navel- 
gazing and self- alienation is a much bigger issue 
threatening the profession today. To Mau, 
"Architecture is largely irrelevant to the great 
mass of the world's population because architects 
have chosen to be [irrelevant]." Furthermore, 
"If you can't tell the difference between critical 
and negative, and have conflated the two and 
built a practice around 'challenging' this or that, 
and are wondering why people aren't interested— 
don't come crying to me." 

While many traditionally minded North Amer- 
ican architecture schools continue to disseminate 
old-fashioned architectural theory, emerging 
design schools prefer to focus on establishing 
valuable partnerships to make design relevant 
and essential to society. Moreover, the practical 
benefits of rapidly evolving technologies that fa- 
cilitate cheap and efficient global communication 
and collaborative opportunities have broadened 
the relevancy and potential of today's graduate 
architects, allowing them to build worthwhile 
projects in Africa or establish successful global 
entrepreneurships. Certainly, many of these 
initiatives cannot be characterized as being 
"conceptually and ethically adrift." 

New forms of design education are certainly 
gaining ground. Stanford University's d. school, 
the Danish Design School, the Singapore Uni- 
versity of Technology and Design, and the 
Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and 
Design in Moscow are all aggressively seeking 
global design talent, and most interestingly, 
graduates of other schools who are disappointed 
with traditional design training. The Ontario 
College of Art and Design (OCAD) offers degrees 
such as a Master of Design in Inclusive Design, 
and a Master of Design in Strategic Foresight and 
Innovation— both of which intend to offer serious 
challenges to schools teaching old-fashioned 
architectural theory. 

Life passes you by when you waste time theor- 
izing about it. The real possibilities that the next 
generation of architects can offer is to capitalize 
on the design-related opportunities of our time 
and do what Mau suggested in his essay— "get in 
on the action and be part of this new world of 
invention and beauty! " 
IAN CHODIKOFF ichodikoff@canadianarchitect.com 



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ARCHITECT 



EDITOR 

IAN CHODIKOFF, OAA, FRAIC 

ASSOCIATE EDITOR 

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6 CANADIAN ARCHITECT 02/1 1 






7 965 Social environmental 
movements take hold. 



WHO SHAPES THE FUTURE 
OF GREEN DESIGN? 



You do. 



1978 Earth Day brings 

awareness to Earth's 
need for continual care. 



What was once a quiet evolution has 
become a revolutionary force. Your desire 
for sustainable design has helped redefine 
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making nora® rubber flooring over 
50 years ago, we've evolved with you. 



1988 1,000 communities 
in America initiate 
curbside recycling. 



1998 EPA launches voluntary 
programs for energy 
water, indoor air 
quality, waste and 
smart growth. 



2008 U.S. Green 

Building Council 
member organizations 
grow to 15,000. 



Your concern for the environment continues 
to create new standards for designing 
in harmony with nature. It is why we 
continually explore ways to blend the 
best of technology with greener thinking. 





It starts with you. 
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NEWS 



PROJECTS 



Quadrangle Architects unveils Ontario's 
next generation of highway service centres. 

Quadrangle Architects celebrates the opening of 
several new, modern highway service centres 
along Ontario's Highways 400 and 401. Seven out 
of the 20 service centres have been completed. 
The inspiration for the Ontario Highway Service 
Centres is rooted in the imagery of rock outcrop - 
pings in Ontario's landscape. Each centre's 
unique locality is represented through mounted 
screens in the local seating area which showcase 
picturesque regional images. Digital media will 
also promote local attractions and events. The 
designs for all three sizes of centres incorporate 
three distinct elements— a glass atrium with 
sloped glass walls covered by a sloped metal roof; 
traditional indigenous stone walls; and wood 
trellises and canopies. To make these centres 
distinctive from other highway service centres in 
Canada, Quadrangle incorporated a broad range 
of accessibility and universal design measures in 
the new facilities to accommodate all visitors of 
varying abilities. Glazed doors and sidelights are 
clearly identified with custom-designed high- 
contrast visibility strips to cater to people of all 
heights. To avoid trip hazards, there are no stairs 
in any of the centres. To enhance mobility, all 
corridors are a minimum of 1,370mm wide and 
there are turning areas with a 2, ooomm diameter 
for people using wheelchairs, scooters or other 
assistive devices. All service counters are de- 
signed with one 1,1 oomm- wide counter at a 
height useable by persons in wheelchairs. Mosaic 
tiles of a contrasting colour serve as a detectable 
warning surface at the sloped glazing as well as to 
indicate changes in direction. Universally access- 
ible drinking fountains and telephones are also 
provided. Telephones include a teletypewriter 
(TTY), a longer cord and an added shelf to sup- 
port a telecommunications device (TTD) for the 
deaf. High- contrast colours were also used to de- 
fine the boundary between the wall and the floor. 
Signage by Bruce Mau Design employs sans-serif 
font with simple uncluttered language and graph- 
ics, and has sharp colour contrast for easier read- 
ing as well as universal cultural symbols, raised 
tactile lettering and Braille. 



AWARDS 



Winners of the 201 1 OAQ Awards of 
Excellence in Architecture announced. 

The winners of the 2011 Ordre des architectes du 
Quebec (OAQ) Awards of Excellence in Architec- 
ture were recently announced. In the Institution- 
al Category ($5M or more), Conservatoire de mu- 




above SAIA BARBARESE TOPOUZANOV ARCHITECTES' CONSERVATOIRE DE MUSIQUE ET DART DRAAAA- 
TIQUE DE MONTREAL TOOK FIRST PRIZE IN THE CATEGORY OF INSTITUTIONAL BUILDING WITH A 
BUDGET OVER $5 MILLION FOR THE 201 1 OAQ AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE. 



sique et d'art dramatique de Montreal in Mon- 
treal by Saia Barbarese Topouzanov architects 
claimed first prize. In the Cultural Category ($?M 
or more), first prize was given to Theatre de 
Quat'sous in Montreal by Les architectes FABG 
(Brodeur, Gauthier, Lavoie, architectes). In the 
Industrial Category ($5M or more), the Extension 
of the Centre de formation professionnelle Gab- 
riel-Rousseau in Levis by a consortium of archi- 
tects—Anne Carrier architect + Onil Poulin archi- 
tect took first prize. In the Commercial Category 
(under $?M), first prize was awarded to Vitrines 
habitees— Quartier des spectacles in Montreal by 
Daoust Lestage Inc. architecture, urban design. 
In the Commercial Category ($?M or more), Uni- 
versite de Sherbrooke, new Longueuil campus in 
Longueuil by a consortium of architects— Marosi 
+ Troy architects, Jodoin Lamarre Pratte and as- 
sociates architects, Labbe architect claimed first 
prize. And in the Residential Category (Single 
Family), first prize was given to La Cornette in 
Canton de Cleveland, Estrie by YH?, Yiacouvakis 
Hamelin, architects. For more information and a 
complete list of winners and honourable men- 
tions, please visit the website. 
www.vzcom.biz 

COMPETITIONS 

Edmonton Park Pavilion Architectural 
Design Competition. 

Building on the legacy of Edmonton's historic 
parks pavilions, the City of Edmonton is spon- 
soring a design competition for five individual 
Parks Pavilions in five separate parks: Borden 
Park, Castle Downs Park, John Fry Sports Park, 
Mill Woods Sports Park, and Victoria Park. Each 
project will be judged independently. Individuals 
or teams are encouraged to join the competition 



if they are eligible for registration with the 
Alberta Association of Architects. First- and 
second-place winners for each park will receive 
recognition and monetary awards for the work 
involved. The registration deadline is March 1, 
3011, and the deadline for submissions is March 
22, 2011. 
www. edmonton. ca/DesignCompetition 

Canadian Centre for Architecture Design 
Charrette winners announced. 

This competition, entitled Alterotopia, was held 
under the auspices of the Canadian Centre for 
Architecture (CCA) and Montreal-based univer- 
sities (Universite de Montreal, UQAM and McGill 
University), in partnership with other Canadian 
universities, and challenged students and interns 
by inviting them to reflect on issues and prob- 
lems in contemporary architecture around the 
theme of "making another city/stitching/con- 
necting/sharing." Two first prizes were awarded 
to a team of students from Carleton University 
composed of Benoit Lagace, Adam Johnston, Jes- 
sica MacDonald, Josh Armstrong and Cipriano 
Nolan, and to a team of two young UQAM gradu- 
ate interns, Anik Poirier and Albane Guy. Stu- 
dents from the Universite de Montreal, McGill 
University, Universite Laval, UQAM, Carleton 
University, and Ryerson University had to pit 
their ingenuity against one another from Novem- 
ber 4-7, 2010. Working in teams, they presented 
the jury with urban development proposals 
adapted to the borough of Montreal-Nord. With a 
distinct social and urban fabric, due as much to 
the ethnic and cultural diversity of its residents 
as to the obvious disconnect between the urban 
landscape and its boundaries, this northeastern 
part of the city— where small-scale elements 
seem to dominate— is home to the borough's 



02/11 CANADIAN ARCHITECT 9 



poorest households and is one of Montreal's 
most densely populated areas. 

Coryn Kempster wins John Street Ideas 
Competition. 

Urban Ballroom is Coryn Kempster's proposal for 
the square at the intersection of King and John 
Streets in Toronto, which aims to provide the 
neighbourhood and its visitors an exciting and 
playful multi-functional outdoor room. To allow 
for different scales of occupation, from an indi- 
vidual to a crowd, the space is furnished in dis- 
tinct zones, which blend between one another 
and the city's sidewalks. The ceiling of Urban 
Ballroom is formed by a web of individually 
solar-powered globe lights which illuminate the 
space and provide spatial definition, compress- 
ing the square in the middle through a catenary 
bulge. The hardscaped ground lifts up subtly; its 
complementary curvature allows the individual to 
look over the crowd. The east and west ends of 
the plaza are occupied by balls of various diam- 
eters geometrically grouped into informal seating 
areas. Kempster is the grand prize winner, while 
Pete North has taken second prize with his pro- 
posal entitled Entertain Me. The three remaining 
finalists are: David Golussi for King Street Stair- 
case; Rohan Almeida for King Street Terrace; and 



Martin Gravel for Oracle Square. 
www. torontoed. com/johnst 

OCAD University appoints architect Will 
Alsop as Adjunct Professor. 

The Faculty of Design at OCAD University an- 
nounced that it has appointed internationally re- 
nowned architect Will Alsop, designer behind the 
Sharp Centre for Design at OCAD University, as 
an Adjunct Professor. His appointment com- 
menced in November 2010 and will continue 
until 2013. In September 2011, Alsop will begin 
teaching an Architectural Design Studio course 
for upper -year undergraduate students, focusing 
on the local urban context. Alsop is one of the 
UK's most prominent architects and is a respect- 
ed artist who has applied his bold and colourful 
approach to award-winning projects across the 
world. His stance is that art and architecture are 
inseparable disciplines and he actively promotes 
artistic contributions to the built environment. 
He is guided by the principle that architecture is 
both a vehicle and symbol of social change and 
renewal. Alsop has expertise across every sector, 
including transportation, health, education, 
retail, residential, office, public, hospitality, 
leisure and interiors, across the UK and inter- 
nationally. 



Sustainable Building Challenge call for 
poster presentations. 

The Sustainable Building Challenge is an inter- 
national co-operative process promoting innova- 
tive sustainable building design and seeking an 
improved understanding of building perform- 
ance assessment tools from a national and inter- 
national perspective. SB Challenge will form a 
key part of the Seventh World Sustainable Build- 
ing Conference (SB11) to be held in Helsinki, 
Finland from October 18-31, 3011. Submissions 
are being solicited for poster projects to be dis- 
played at SB11 to provide attendees with a more 
complete understanding of the progress of sus- 
tainable building in Canada and to enhance our 
country's participation in the conference. If you 
are a Canadian architect, engineer, building 
owner or commercial developer, you are invited 
to submit your most environmentally advanced 
project to be presented in poster format at the SB 
Challenge in Helsinki. Commercial, institutional 
and multi-unit residential building types from 
the public or private sector with a minimum size 
of 1,000 square metres will all be considered. 
The submission deadline is March 31, 3011, and 
an application fee of $150 CDN is required for 
each submission. 
www.iisbe.org/sbcii/canada 



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1 CANADIAN ARCHITECT 02/1 1 




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project LOUIS BOHEME, MONTREAL, QUEBEC 

architect MENKES SHOONER DAGENAIS LETOURNEUX ARCHITECTES 

text ODILE HENAULT 

photos MARC CRAMER, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED 



The Louis Boheme, one of Montreal's newest downtown projects, owes its 
strong urban presence first and foremost to an intelligent round of negotia- 
tions between Menkes Shooner Dagenais LeTourneux architectes and city 
planners. The outcome of these negotiations was such that the developer 
was able to propose a meaningful urban gesture that is responsive to the 
city— rather than just building another residential compound oblivious to its 
surroundings. 

According to zoning regulations, the project was indeed slated to be a 
sturdy 14-floor structure with minimal open space at ground level. The real 
challenge— and major breakthrough— was to figure out another way of occu- 
pying the site. It was proposed to divide the project into two towers— one 
13 storeys and the other 28 storeys— while maintaining a floor-to-area ratio 
of 13.0. 

The lower tower was designed to occupy the part of the site closest to the 
newly completed Place des Spectacles on rue de Bleury, while the higher 
tower was built along boulevard de Maisonneuve. The former relates to fur 
industry manufacturing, which at one point was prevalent in this area of 
Montreal, while the latter corresponds to the string of office buildings lo- 
cated on either side of de Maisonneuve as one progresses towards the city's 
business centre. 

Because of the building's L- shaped plan, residents were provided with a 
greater variety of views and orientations. Those living above the 15th floor 
of the de Maisonneuve tower were given a rare treat: in each elevator lobby, 
an opening focuses the view towards one of Old Montreal's true jewels, the 
1920s Royal Bank Building with its pyramidal roof. 

Freeing part of the site also provided the architects with an opportunity to 
create an open space on the south side of the complex, over the entrance 
leading to a six- level parking garage that contains 300 parking spaces. The 
outdoor garden, measuring 245 square metres, is accessible directly from 
the upper part of the main lobby where, aside from a few studio units, one 
finds a lounge/library space and an exercise area. The mere concept of a 
contemplative space, where tenants can read or just sit quietly, is one of the 
aspects of this project that reveals real estate developer Javier Planas's 
Spanish origin. 

Planas moved to Montreal almost 2,0 years ago and received public ac- 
claim for remodelling the 1908 Canadian National Express Building (de- 
signed by Hutchison and Wood) along rue McGill. Erected by the Grand 
Trunk Railway Company at a time when Montreal was a major North Amer- 
ican transportation hub, the building is now known as the Hotel St- Paul, 
the first boutique hotel that launched in Old Montreal. 

Planas is the president of Iber Group, a Canadian company backed by 
Spanish investors while Iber Immobilier, the actual client for the project, is 
a real estate management fund created by Planas to tackle Louis Boheme, 
his first major residential project in Montreal. Construction of the project 
started in 2007 and ended in the summer of 2010. 

By the time the building opened its doors, 98 percent of the units had 
been sold. Although the architectural team had much to do with this suc- 
cess, credit should also be given to mpi/innedesign, a firm responsible for 
the project's branding and marketing strategy. They also contributed to the 
choice of details, colours and materials for some of the interiors. 

The 293 apartments vary in size from 58 to 150 square metres. Aimed at a 
middle -income buyer, the design is fairly standard, as all units are a single 
storey, accessible from a double-loaded corridor. The corner units, as one 
might expect, are the most interesting. That being said, one welcomes the 
fresh simplicity of the interior design, a relief in a market where ostenta- 




opposite WITH VACANT LOTS IN THE FOREGROUND, THE NEW APART- 
MENT COMPLEX ASSERTS ITSELF IN THE DOWNTOWN MONTREAL CON- 
TEXT, top A DETAIL OF THE FACADE REVEALS A CONSIDERABLE DEGREE OF 
ARTICULATION— A RED PANEL ACKNOWLEDGES EXISTING DATUM LINES 
OF NEARBY BUILDINGS, above THE INTERIOR COURTYARD PERMITS AMPLE 
DAYLIGHT TO PENETRATE THE INTERIOR SPACES OF THE BLOCK. 



02/11 CANADIAN ARCHITECT 13 




tion is often mistaken for elegance. 

Considerable attention was paid to the detailing of the elevations. The 
east facade, facing Place des Arts, is carefully crafted with a wall comprised 
of aluminum, zinc and steel panels assembled in a mosaic-like pattern. So- 
phisticated window elements with no apparent mullions were specifically 
designed for this project. Metallic modules are all the same height, slightly 
over half a metre, but they vary in length and hue— black, red, and dark and 
light grey. A distinct rhythm, reminiscent in certain ways of musical nota- 
tion, was thus created on this facade, which acts as a backdrop for the Jazz 
Festival and other musical events that occur every summer in the streets 
surrounding the building. 

In contrast to this facade is the stark north elevation parallel to boulevard 
de Maisonneuve, where the black granite aggregate added to the prefabri- 
cated concrete panels creates a striking and almost abstract effect, highly 
unusual for this type of building. Each of the building's two street facades 
expresses a distinct aspect of what Montreal is all about as a creative city. 
Only metres away from the major performance and visual arts cluster of 
Montreal, the Louis Boheme is also the portal to the city's business centre 
towards the west. The higher tower thus acts as a beacon that celebrates 
both the festive character of the city and its more serious professional 
aspect. 

At the junction of the building's two wings is direct access to the Place 
des Arts metro station, itself connected through a series of passageways to 
Old Montreal, the Palais des congres and Chinatown. Finally, the Louis 



above, left to right A VIEW OF LOUIS BOHEME, WALKING EAST ALONG 
RUE DE BLEURY; THE APARTMENT COMPLEX SEEN WHEN TRAVELLING 
SOUTH ALONG BOULEVARD DE MAISONNEUVE. opposite, top to bottom THE 

BUILDING'S ENTRANCE ON BOULEVARD DE MAISONNEUVE ADDRESSES 
THE STREET IN AN URBANE MANNER AS IF IT WAS A COMMERCIAL 
STOREFRONT; THE PLACE DES FESTIVALS— PART OF THE NEW QUARTER 
DES SPECTACLES— HELPS DEFINE THE LOUIS BOHEME IN AN INCREASING- 
LY ANIMATED AREA OF MONTREAL. 



Boheme features a 1,500 -square -metre commercial zone situated at ground 
level on either side of the residential area. The sparsely furnished lobby 
features a clever LED lighting system emanating a purple glow that creates 
an eerie feeling. 

Despite the inevitable changes that take place in a project of such com- 
plexity, Menkes Shooner Dagenais LeTourneux architectes were able to stay 
on course throughout the design process, a feat largely attributed to a strong 
architectural and urban parti. They managed to incorporate whatever con- 
cessions that had to be made without compromising the essential concep- 
tual underpinnings of their scheme. 

Centrally located, the Louis Boheme fills one of Montreal's numerous 
downtown lots left vacant ever since the Drapeau era and its overambitious 
dreams. Although a number of towers have been built in the last half- 
century, few compare with I.M. Pei's Place Ville- Marie, Mies van der Rohe's 
Westmount Square, and Peter Dickinson's CIBC building. As an urban 
object, the Louis Boheme achieves a level of excellence that is respectful 



1 4 CANADIAN ARCHITECT 02/1 1 





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02/11 CANADIAN ARCHITECT 15 




LEVELS 3 TO 1 3 





clockwise from top left THE TWO-STOREY FRONT LOBBY CONVEYS A FEELING OF EXPANSIVENESS; 
LOUIS BOHEME CAN BE SEEN IN THE DISTANCE, WITH PLACE DES ARTS BARELY VISIBLE ON THE LEFT; 
AN EXAMPLE OF ONE OF THE APARTMENT'S INTERIOR SPACES. 



LEVEL 1 



1 BUILDING LOBBY 5 FITNESS ROOM 

2 PLACE-DES-ARTS METRO ENTRANCE 6 GARDEN 

3 COMMERCIAL SPACE 7 UNIT C 

4 LIBRARY/COMMON ROOM 



of the best Montreal has to offer in terms of 
modern heritage. This is no small accomplish- 
ment, and proof that urban gestures that engage 
in a dialogue with the city can be financially sus- 
tainable. CA 

Odile Renault is a Quebec-based architectural writer 
and is currently editing a forthcoming book on the 
work of Dan Hanganu to be published by TUNS Press. 



CLIENT IBER IMMOBILIER 

ARCHITECT TEAM JEAN-PIERRE LETOURNEUX, ANIK SHOONER, GAETAN 
ROY, ALAIN BOUDRIAS, AUDREY ARCHAMBAULT, CATHERINE BELANGER, 
JEAN-FRANCOIS JODOIN, JEAN-FRANCOIS MATHIEU, MACGREGOR WIL- 
SON, MARC-ANTOINE CHARTIER-PRIMEAU, PAOLO ZASSO, PIERRE-ALEXAN- 
DRE RHEAUME, VINCENT LAUZON, ANDREA MACELWEE, BENOIT DUPUIS, 
CLAUDIO NUNEZ 
STRUCTURAL/CIVIL GENIVAR 

MECHANICAL/ELECTRICAL DUPRAS LEDOUX INGENIEURS 
INTERIORS INNE DESIGN 

ELEVATORS JEAN-MARC GAGNON ET ASSOCIES 
CONTRACTOR EBC INC 
AREA 45,000 M 2 
BUDGET $60 M 
COMPLETION AUGUST 2010 



1 6 CANADIAN ARCHITECT 02/1 1 



DALHOUSIE UNIVERSITY 
SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE 

P.O. Box 1000, 5410 Spring Garden Road 
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3J 2X4 



m\ DALHOUSIE 

UNIVERSITY 

Inspiring Minds 

¥ acuity of Architecture 
and Planning 



10 December 2010 



The School of Architecture at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada is looking for a new faculty member 
who will be central to our studio-based curriculum. Most faculty teach in studio and one other stream: Practice, 
Technology or Humanities. The School has a strong design orientation and includes undergraduate and graduate work 
semesters that integrate professional experience with academic courses. The School is in downtown Halifax, a harbour 
city of 360,000 and the metropolitan centre of Atlantic Canada. Dalhousie University (est. 1818) is the premier research 
institution in the region, serving 16,000 students. We offer an accredited graduate professional degree in architecture and 
an interdisciplinary Ph.D. 

The School of Architecture invites applications for a teaching position in architectural design, with a clear academic 
and/or professional research focus. This is a full-time, tenure stream appointment at the level of Assistant Professor. The 
candidate will be expected to show evidence of an ability to teach core undergraduate courses both in a studio and in a 
lecture format, and to supervise graduate theses. In addition, she/he should be able to present a graduate studio and a 
graduate seminar to be developed in their area of research focus. All faculty collaborate with colleagues in curriculum 
development and work with students across the entire curriculum. 

The successful candidate will have demonstrated achievement in the practice and teaching of architecture, and promise for 
excellence in design, teaching, and research. The successful candidate will have: (1) a professional degree in architecture, 
(2) either an advanced degree in a field related to the position or eligibility for architectural registration in Canada, and (3) 
knowledge of digital design media. The portfolio of work should demonstrate a creative integration of architectural design 
in teaching, in practice, and in an area of scholarship. 

Applications must include: (a) a statement of teaching and research orientation; (b) a full curriculum vitae including 
address, telephone and email; (c) a portfolio including design work, teaching and publications; and (d) original letters of 
reference, sent under separate cover, from at least four referees (and their contact information if it is not evident in the 
letter). For best considerations, applications should be received by 15 March 201 1. The process will continue until the 
position is filled. 

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. 
Dalhousie University is an Employment Equity / Affirmative Action employer. We encourage applications from qualified 
Aboriginal people, persons with a disability, racially visible persons, and women. 



Send application packages to: 



Ted Cavanagh, Chair, Search Committee 2010/2011-1807 

School of Architecture 

Faculty of Architecture and Planning 

Dalhousie University 

P.O. Box 1000, 5410 Spring Garden Road 

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3J 2X4 



More information about the School and its activities can be found at <archplan.dal.ca/positions>. General inquiries should be 
directed to Martha Barnstead, Administrative Secretary to the Dean of the Faculty of Architecture and Planning, 
Dalhousie University; e-mail <martha.barnstead@dal.ca>; telephone (902) 494-3210. 



Dalhousie University Faculty of Architecture and Planning • P.O. Box 1000 • 5410 Spring Garden Road • Halifax Nova Scotia • B3J2X4 • Canada 

Fax: 902.423.6672 • E-mail: arch.office@dal.ca • Web: archplan.dal.ca 
Dean's office Tel: 902.494.3210 School of Architecture Tel: 902.494.3971 School of Planning Tel: 902.494.3260 



SEE THE LIGHT 



V\ 









A NEW HOME FOR THE TORONTO INTER- 
NATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL INCORPORATES 
A DIVERSE AND ENGAGING PROGRAM, 
INVIGORATING THE CITY'S BUSTLING 
ENTERTAINMENT DISTRICT. 



•*-; /- 



project TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX, TORONTO, ONTARIO 

architects KUWABARA PAYNE MCKENNA BLUMBERG ARCHITECTS, DESIGN 

ARCHITECTS/KIRKOR ARCHITECTS & PLANNERS, ARCHITECTS OF RECORD 

text LESLIE JEN 

photos TOM ARBAN AND MARIS MEZULIS 



Toronto is perhaps finally emerging from a prolonged adolescence towards 
something resembling a world-class city, the success of which is due largely 
to recent architectural transformations in the city's core. Landmarks such 
as the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Terrence Donnelly Centre for Cellular and 
Biomolecular Research, and the Royal Ontario Museum have achieved vary- 
ing degrees of success and/or notoriety, but have nonetheless contributed 
to putting the city on the global map. 

A recent addition to this growing list is the TIFF Bell Lightbox, a complex 
that is the result of many parties working in concert. Founded in 1976, the 
Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is an annual event which has 
been gaining increasing importance in the global film industry in recent 
years. TIFF staff had long been operating out of relatively dismal office 
space at Yonge and Carlton Streets for years, and was in desperate need of a 
new home. Several years ago, Hollywood film producer and director Ivan 
Reitman stepped in, and with his sisters Agi Mandel and Susan Michaels, 
donated the land on which the Lightbox now sits. Reitman's parents were 
Holocaust survivors from the former Czechoslovakia who immigrated to 
Canada in the 1950s, and a decade later, purchased Farb's Car Wash at the 
northwest corner of the King and John Street intersection. Another party 
eventually joined in the venture— The Daniels Corporation— who, along with 
the Reitman family, formed the King and John Festival Corporation (KJFC). 
The TIFF Group, along with KJFC, are the official developers of the project. 

Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects (KPMB) won the design 
competition for the project in 2003, and they could not have been more 
familiar with the site, as their offices are located directly across the street in 
the Eclipse Whitewear Building. Principals Bruce Kuwabara and Shirley 
Blumberg have been in this very same location since the mid-1970s, when 
they both began their professional careers with architect Barton Myers, who 
then owned the building with former partner Jack Diamond. Kuwabara and 
Blumberg have witnessed the evolution of the neighbourhood practically 
every day for three and a half decades; what better design team to under- 
stand the urban context of the Lightbox? 

This prime piece of property is located in the heart of the the Entertain- 
ment District on the same stretch of King Street as the Royal Alexandra 
Theatre and the Princess of Wales Theatre, both owned by the legendary 
Mirvish family. King Street is a major east- west thoroughfare that runs 
through the city's financial heart and the Entertainment District, and con- 
tinues westward to the evolving fantasy lifestyle nexus of sleek condo- 
miniums and boutique hotels clustered around King and Bathurst Streets. 
John Street was identified in 2009 by the City as a "cultural corridor," a 
phrase that the Entertainment District Business Improvement Association 
has capitalized on in attempts to beautify and pedestrianize the roughly 
seven-block-long north-south conduit that runs from Grange Park behind 
the Art Gallery of Ontario all the way down to Front Street. 

Kuwabara maintains that there was no direct precedent for this type of 
project. Certainly, there are multiplex theatres around the world, art house 
theatres and film centres, but nothing with so broad a mixed-use program 
as this. Five cinemas, two galleries, two restaurants and a lounge, a gift 
shop, a film reference library, ample office and work space for 200 TIFF 
employees— are all combined with a 43 -storey condominium tower. The 
residential component of the complex was primarily undertaken by Kirkor 
Architects & Planners, and the soaring tower rises from KPMB's five-storey 
podium base, devoted to TIFF and its accessory functions. 

Led by design partner Kuwabara, partner in charge Blumberg, and project 
architect Matthew Wilson, the design team worked closely with TIFF CEO 




opposite THE TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX IN ALL ITS NOCTURNAL GLORY, top VIEW- 
ERS GET A VOYEURISTIC GLIMPSE OF THE MASTER CONTROL ROOM 
HOVERING OVER THE CENTRAL ATRIUM, above ESCALATORS, STAIRS AND 
BRIDGES ARE IMMEDIATELY APPARENT ON THE GROUND FLOOR OF THE 
BUILDING— EXPLICIT AND STRETCHED CIRCULATION BECOMES A CINE- 
MATIC DEVICE OF PROCESSION, MOVEMENT AND SPECTACLE. 



02/11 CANADIAN ARCHITECT 19 




and Director Piers Handling, Executive Director and Chief Operating Offi- 
cer Michele Maheux, and Noah Cowan, Artistic Director of the TIFF Bell 
Lightbox, who were tireless in their efforts to realize the long-awaited pro- 
ject. Kuwabara and Blumberg also enthused about the participation of a 
team of prominent Canadian filmmakers that were brought in as consult- 
ants early on in the design process. Atom Egoyan, Patricia Rozema, Don 
McKellar and others were invited to offer their opinions on the facility, and 
provided valuable insights to the design team. Artist Margaret Priest was 
also invited to share her expertise, and brought with her an impressive skill 
set and knowledge of film which informed some of the design elements in 



the building, including the choice of bold accent colours on the interior. 

First impressions reveal the massing of the building to be on the bulky 
side, though this is perhaps unavoidable given the complex and extensive 
program. Kuwabara likens the project to "a mini- city of film," in which the 
"architectural volumes of the five cinemas are expressed as black zinc- clad 
buildings within the building" that seem to float in the interior atrium. 
Blumberg adds that great efforts were made to express the parts of this pro- 
gram, such as the cinema volumes pushing through the facade, although this 
articulation could have been even more pronounced. 

Reference to the medium of black and white film in this loft -like building 




20 CANADIAN ARCHITECT 02/1 1 



is made through material choice, colour selection, and of course, the pres- 
ence of light, according to Kuwabara. A restrained colour palette is ex- 
pressed through the ubiquity of white drywall, grey concrete columns and 
floors, frosted and clear glass, black zinc, and judiciously placed apertures 
for the transmission of natural and artificial light. 

More convincing is the employment of cinematic devices of transparency 
and explicitly stretched circulation routes to provide as many vantage points 
as possible for viewing and being viewed; the spectator becomes a partici- 
pant. A soaring three -storey central atrium allows glimpses of the upper 
floors from below as well as views from the second and third floors into the 
ground-floor foyer of those queuing for tickets and milling about; glazed 
balustrades and walls maximize sightlines. In addition to the escalators that 
lead up to the second and third floors, visitors also have the option of taking 
the stairs to the second-floor theatres, restaurant and lounge. Blumberg 
says, "It's important to provide alternate means of access upstairs, and 
people do use the stair." Frosted glass balustrades define a second-floor 
bridge that crosses the atrium, providing yet another expression of the 
cinematic spectacle of procession and movement. And hovering at the west 
end of the atrium on the third floor is the most captivating feature, the mas- 
ter control room. A bright red box that opens up to the public with a large 
window wall, it permits a voyeuristic and privileged view of where and how 
all the magic happens. Here, technicians coordinate the projections in all 
the theatres and on the dozens of screens throughout the building. It's like 
peering behind the Wizard of Oz's curtain. 

The building succeeds most resoundingly in its streetfront presence, and 
the transparency of its functions to busy pedestrian and vehicular traffic on 
King Street. The opening up of this facade on the ground and second floors 
draws in the spectacle of street life, providing a striking contrast to the 
colourful and eclectic array of restaurants occupying the three-storey 
Victorian rowhouses across the street. The Lightbox beckons with wide ex- 
panses of glazing, offering views of the tantalizing wares for sale in the gift 
shop, and window displays promote current exhibitions in the Lightbox 
Gallery— Tim Burton is on show until mid -April. Most successful in an 
architectural, urbanistic and commercial sense is Canteen, the casual all- 
day eatery occupying the prime corner spot at King and John Streets. Its 
high ceilings, full -height glazing, bold graphics, and buzzy energy guarantee 
it being packed at virtually all hours of the day, from breakfast to dinner. It 
opens up this vital corner to the city— both metaphorically and literally with 
its summertime outdoor patio— drawing in both locals and tourists to enjoy 
its accessible and reasonably priced menu offerings. 

Situated directly above Canteen and also owned and operated by the 
Oliver & Bonacini restaurant empire is Luma, a handsome room decked out 
in stone, walnut and leather that provides a sedate setting for a civilized 
lunch or dinner. It and the adjoining BlackBerry Lounge possess the same 
understated corporate elegance seen in KPMB's earlier restaurant project 
Nota Bene. A full wall of glazing ensures that both restaurant and lounge 
enjoy entertaining views of the animated streetscape day and night, and 
again, an outdoor terrace is open during warmer weather to allow customers 
to engage even further with the neighbourhood. 

Interestingly, it's in these dining spaces where the architecture and in- 
teriors are permitted to sing; a greater variety of materials and textural 
contrast, along with effective signage and graphics, offers a degree of satis - 



oppositetop AN ATMOSPHERIC PHOTOGRAPH CAPTURES THE ENTIRETY OF 
THE BUILDING'S KING STREET FACADE, opposite bottom THE SECOND- 
FLOOR BLACKBERRY LOUNGE ENTICES WITH A PLEASING MATERIAL PAL- 
ETTE AND RELAXED VIBE, top right OCCUPYING PRIME REAL ESTATE AT THE 
BUSY CORNER OF KING AND JOHN, CASUAL EATERY CANTEEN IS 
PACKED FROM MORNING TO NIGHT WITH CUSTOMERS SEEKING ITS 
IRRESISTIBLY SPIRITED AMBIANCE AND A PLACE TO WATCH THE WORLD 
GO BY. right LUMA, THE RESTAURANT ON THE SECOND FLOOR, PRO- 
VIDES A SUITABLY SOPHISTICATED ENVIRONMENT FOR CIVILIZED DINING. 




02/11 CANADIAN ARCHITECT 21 





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above, left to right EFFECTIVE SIGNAGE AND LIGHTING CREATES A HIGHLY APPEALING URBAN CORNER CONDITION AT KING AND JOHN STREETS; PEOPLE 
QUEUE FOR TICKETS IN THE THREE-STOREY ATRIUM OF THE LIGHTBOX; AN INTERNAL BRIDGE CROSSING THE ATRIUM ON THE SECOND FLOOR LEADS TO 
THE THREE MAJOR THEATRE SPACES; THE BUILDING SUCCESSFULLY ENGAGES WITH THE STREET THROUGH AMPLE TRANSPARENCY AND SIGNAGE. 



faction that is perhaps less evident in other spaces in the complex, which 
can sometimes read as a bit flat with an overabundance of drywall and paint 
substituting for KPMB's usual sophisticated and subtle melange of material, 
texture and colour. It's fairly obvious that budgetary shortfalls are to blame, 
as so often they are. 

On the sixth floor, a room for private events and parties leads onto a mag- 
nificent outdoor space on the roof of the podium, revealing a grand stair 
whose form, according to Kuwabara, takes inspiration from the striking re- 
verse pyramidal staircase of the iconic Villa Malaparte on the Isle of Capri. 
The villa was featured prominently in Jean- Luc Godard's film Le Mepris 
(1963), which Kuwabara describes as "visually stunning." The roof terrace 
and stair is no less stunning— one of the most successful moments in the 
Lightbox, with great potential for dramatic and filmic moments, offering 
spectacular views of the city. The stair also generates one of the most dy- 
namic features of the front elevation— a boldly expressive stepped roofline 
of the complex's podium that echoes the gradient of the stair. However, it is 
unfortunate that access to this roof terrace is restricted to TIFF employees 
and their invited guests; it has all the features of a grand public space that 
ideally should be shared with the city and its residents. 

The Lightbox is unquestionably a gift to the city of Toronto. Though 
criticisms have been made of its overwhelming scale, the reality of the 
city's evolution into a fully urban entity with a dense central core invariably 
means bigger and taller. Ambitious changes are taking place, and this 
most extraordinary project has formed an irresistible cultural, social and 
entertainment hub that engages the community in a manner rarely seen 
before in this town. Its September 2010 grand opening drew 10,000 vis- 
itors, and a few weeks later during Nuit Blanche, the Lightbox welcomed a 
steady stream of attendees all through the night to enjoy a compelling and 
entertaining program of short films. Kuwabara asserts that "a building ac- 
quires a life that unfolds over time." In the five short months since its un- 
veiling, the Lightbox has not only acquired its own remarkable life, it's 
transformed so many others. CA 





































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22 CANADIAN ARCHITECT 02/1 




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1 WAITING AREA 

2 BOARD ROOM 

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4 PROJECTION ROOM 

5 SCREENING ROOM 

6 BALCONY 



-'EHD IBST 




CLIENT TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, KING +JOHN FESTIVAL CORPORATION (C/O THE DANIELS 

CORPORATION) 

ARCHITECT TEAM BRUCE KUWABARA, SHIRLEY BLUMBERG, LUIGI LAROCCA, MATTHEW WILSON, MATT 

KRIVOSUDSKY, BRUNO WEBER, BRENT WAGLER, GLENN MACMULLIN, ANDREA MACAROUN, RITA KIRIAKIS, 

LILLY LIAUKUS, CAROLYN LEE, DAVID POLOWAY, TYLER SHARP, DEBRA FABRICUS, CLAUDIO VENIER, THOM SETO, 

WALTER GAUDET, KRISTA CLARK, WINSTON CHONG, CARLA MUNOZ, ELIZABETH PADEN, BILL COLACO, NICKO 

ELLIOT, NORM LI 

STRUCTURAL JABLONSKY, AST AND PARTNERS 

MECHANICAL/ELECTRICAL SNC LAVALIN LKM 

LIGHTING PIVOTAL LIGHTING AFFILIATED ENGINEERS 

LIFE SAFETY LEBER RUBES INC. 

ACOUSTICS AERCOUSTICS ENGINEERING LTD. 

AUDIO-VISUAL WESTBURY NATIONAL SHOW SYSTEMS & AZCAR TECHNOLOGIES 

THEATRE CONSULTANT PETER SMITH ARCHITECT INC. 

SIGNAGE GOTTSCHALK + ASH 

WIND STUDY RWDI ENGINEERING 

TRANSPORTATION MARSHALL MACKLIN MONAGHAN 

FOOD SERVICE KAIZEN FOODSERVICE PLANNING AND DESIGN INC. 

SECURITY MULVEY AND BANANI 

IT EHVERT ENGINEERING 

COSTING HELYAR & ASSOCIATES 

CONTRACTOR PCL CONSTRUCTORS CANADA INC. 

AREA 175,000 FT 2 BASE; 372,000 FT 2 CONDO 

BUDGET WITHHELD 

COMPLETION SEPTEMBER 2010 



II 




:> 



GROUND FLOOR AND SITE PLAN 







I I 

20' 



1 MAIN ENTRY 

2 LOBBY 

3 TIFF ELEVATOR LOBBY 

4 BOX OFFICE 

5 COAT CHECK 

6 GALLERY 



7 STAGING PREP 13 TIFF SWING SPACE 

8 CONDO ENTRY 14 SW FRONTAGE 

9 CONDY LOBBY 1 5 ESCALATORS 

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ARRIYADH DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY 



project WADI HANIFAH RESTORATION PROJECT, 
RIYADH, KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA 
landscape architects MORIYAMA & TESHIMA PLAN- 
NERS IN JOINT VENTURE WITH BURO HAPPOLD 
text ELSA LAM 

photos ARRIYADH DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, 
GEORGE STOCKTON 

Inside the intimate lobby of Moriyama & 
Teshima's offices on the edge of the upscale 
Rosedale neighbourhood in downtown Toronto, 
visitors cross a stone bridge over a shallow pool 
that contains a dozen swishing koi fish. The 
sound of trickling water carries down the hall to a 
boardroom adorned with a horizontal tapestry 
that resembles abstract waves from a flowing 
stream. 

The decor is fitting for an office that's starting 
to see the fruits of a decade spent on a project 
centred on water. In November of 2010, Mori- 
yama & Teshima Planners (MTP)— the landscape 
design branch of the firm— garnered a well- de- 
served Aga Khan Award for Architecture for their 
restoration of the Wadi Hanifah, a river valley in 



Saudi Arabia. The prestigious prize recognizes 
ecological and restoration-minded work in the 
Islamic world. With a site 130 kilometres long, 
and additional work extending through a 
4,032-square-kilometre catchment basin, it's 
the largest project that MTP has taken on since 
its inception as an affiliate to the architecture 
firm 30 years ago. 

The once lush Wadi Hanifah— literally the 
Hanifah Valley— runs from sand dune -covered 
desert, through agricultural lands and palm 
groves, before crossing the Saudi Kingdom's lar- 
gest metropolis, the city of Riyadh. Some of the 
city's senior citizens remember playing in the 
Wadi Hanifah as children. That was back when 
Riyadh was a relatively small town— in 195?, it 
had 80,000 residents. Since that time, it's de- 
veloped in leaps and bounds, more than doubling 
its population every decade. Today, 7 million 
people call Riyadh home. 

As the city expanded, it used the Hanifah Valley 
as a throughway for utility lines and a dumping 
ground for construction waste. The river that 



above AN IMAGE ILLUSTRATING A FEW OF THE 
DOZENS OF BIO-REMEDIATION CELLS THAT 
CONSTITUTE THIS INTENSIVE RESTORATION 
PROJECT TRANSFORMING A POLLUTED RIVER 
INTO A VIBRANT ASSET FOR RIYADH. 



carved out the valley had centuries ago been di- 
verted into an underground aquifer, remaining 
easily tapped for fresh water. Now, a new kind of 
waterway has made its way through the Wadi 
Hanifah— a foul stream of industrial effluent 
from a tannery on the outskirts of town, and dis- 
charge from the city's overcapacity sewage treat- 
ment plant. "It had become Riyadh's sewer and 
dump," summarizes MTP president George 
Stockton. 

Stockton is no stranger to the region. MTP 
worked hand in hand with Moriyama & Teshima 
Architects on the National Museum of Saudi Ara- 
bia, developing the urban design and landscaping 
for the 83 -acre site in Riyadh, which opened in 
1999. That year, Stockton was asked to partici- 
pate in a three -week charrette on the future of 



02/11 CANADIAN ARCHITECT 25 




WAEL SAMHOURI 



the city. He focused on open space and the en- 
vironment. "I identified the Wadi as the oppor- 
tunity," he recalls. His paper on the subject be- 
came the terms of reference for the project, 
headed by the Arriyadh Development Authority 
(ADA). In partnership with UK engineering firm 
Buro Happold, MTP won a proposal to redevelop 
the Wadi Hanifah. At MTP, Stockton and land- 
scape architect Drew Wensley headed up the pro- 
ject. Soon after the master plan was completed, 
the team was commissioned to develop detailed 
designs, and on the heels of that phase, the first 
pilot projects. 

The central idea in Stockton and Wensley' s vi- 
sion was to use native plants and natural process- 
es to restore the riverbed. They proposed re- 
greening the valley with indigenous flora that 
would mitigate the area's violent flash floods 
while doubling as the basis for naturalized parks. 
Then, they envisaged cleaning the urban waste- 
water stream to a level where it could provide 
public amenity within those parks. 

Before construction could begin, the riverbed 
needed to be cleared: a step where working in a 
nation with top-down governance proved a pre- 
cious asset. The tannery that poured hazardous 



chromium down the Wadi was shut down in two 
days. Utilities including water mains, sewage 
spur lines, overhead phone wires, power cables, 
and irrigation pipes were relocated. 1.5 million 
cubic metres of debris— a volume equal to the To- 
ronto SkyDome (now the Rogers Centre)— was 
removed from the riverbed, comprised of every- 
thing from construction waste to dead animals. 

Once the area was cleared, the team built stone 
walls along the edges of the Wadi to set it off from 
private property, and began revegetating the an- 
cient riverbed with the indigenous species that 
had once inhabited it. The ADA and its contract- 
ors collected seeds and cuttings from the least 
damaged parts of the valley, and used them to 
propagate thousands of trees, shrubs, and grasses 
in greenhouses. "All of these plants have incred- 
ible strategies for survival in hot, low-water con- 
ditions," explains Stockton. Moreover, the se- 
lected species would help temper the Wadi's per- 
iodic floods, which have worsened with the as- 
phalt sprawl of urban development. "The shrubs 
and plant material that are genetically intrinsic to 
the Wadi would have slowed down flood flows 
historically," reasons Wensley, noting that over 
millennia, these plants adapted to absorb rapidly 



above A SERIES OF NATURAL STONE WEIRS 
WERE CONSTRUCTED TO INTRODUCE OXY- 
GEN INTO THE WATER AS IT PASSES OVER 
AND THROUGH THEM, THEREBY REDUCING 
THE AMOUNT OF POLLUTION IN THE WADI. 



moving floodwaters and retain sediments. 

The use of native flora was not without contro- 
versy, since the locals viewed them as weeds. Al- 
though the plan to employ indigenous species 
was laid out early on, the ADA remained con- 
cerned about whether the public would use a nat- 
uralized system, as opposed to a series of formal 
parks. Yet Stockton and Wensley resisted the 
pressure to bring in imported plants, which 
would have required constant care and irrigation. 
To justify their decision, they tapped their land- 
scape design skills to showcase the beauty they 
readily perceived in native grasses, by massing 
them together and highlighting them in com- 
posed groups. "It became like a garden," says 
Wensley. 

The team arranged the new plants in thousands 
of clusters called planting cells, designed in over 
150 different shapes and species groupings, ac- 
cording to both aesthetic criteria and the varying 



26 CANADIAN ARCHITECT 02/1 1 



conditions along the Wadi Hanifah. Interspersed 
along a 70 -kilometre stretch of the Wadi, the 
cells acted as miniature plant nurseries, and 
within three years had begun to grow out to meet 
each other, as well as spreading seeds down- 
stream. Now, a textured green carpet is starting 
to cover the valley floor. The restored habitat at- 
tracts huge numbers of birds, along with small 
mammals and some reptiles— like the foot- and - 
a-half-long lizard that greeted Stockton on a re- 
cent visit. 

A new road running the length of the Wadi al- 
lows for easy access to park areas designed by the 
team. In some sections, simple limestone walls 
delineate picnic areas and provide families with 
visual privacy. Other areas are left open as play 
fields for children. A recreational path used for 
jogging and walking runs along the edge of the 
riverbed. Along select sections, palm-lined prom- 
enades add to the oasis-like feel of the valley. 

Meanwhile, in the urban core of Riyadh, the 
team sought to transform the discharge from the 
municipal sewage treatment plant— technically 
greywater, but which often approached black- 
water— into something beautiful. This strategy 
had two phases. The first was to divert part of the 
plant's effluent through a man-made channel, 
lined with loose rock and equipped with water- 
falls that help to introduce oxygen and mix the 
water column. The size of the rocks was calibrat- 
ed to maximize the quantities of aquatic organ- 
isms that could live in the channel bed and digest 
organic material from the wastewater. 

The channel leads to the main bio -remediation 
facility: a large-scale open-air living machine 
that, from the air, looks like a family of three 
fossil trilobites. Water enters from the top of the 
facility— the tail end of the baby trilobite— and 
makes its way through herringbone channels, or 
bio-cells, in each of the three successive systems. 

A series of operations progressively cleans the 
water. At the mouth of the facility, powerful air 
pumps blast dissolved oxygen into the water, cre- 
ating an environment lethal to coliform bacteria. 
Each bio -cell's front compartment houses a 3-D 
layered textile mat— a vast, cave-like maze on 
which colonies of algae and other micro -fauna 
thrive, digesting nutrients from the water. Final- 
ly, tilapia feast on the algae. Recent autopsies 
have shown the fish to be in perfect health, with 
no toxins or parasites. By the time the water exits, 
it's clear through to the bottom— making the fish 
easy to spot for opportunistic herons, egrets and 
hawks that have begun to nest in the area. 

The success of the facility has been astounding. 
As Stockton describes, "it came alive in just a few 
months rather than a whole year, which is what 
we were anticipating." The water that emerges 
doesn't smell, and is close to 100 percent clear of 
coliform and suspended solids. Although it's not 
drinking calibre, further treatment could render 




top THE HERITAGE VALUE OF THE OLD DAM HAS BEEN INCREASED AS A RESULT OF RESTORING THE 
WADI HANIFAH RIVER SYSTEM, above THE PARK SYSTEM IS DESIGNED TO PROVIDE FAMILY COMPART- 
MENTS—IN THE FORM OF SEMI-ENCLOSED AREAS— SO THAT EACH FAMILY CAN USE THE PARK FOR 
THE DAY WITHOUT BEING DISTURBED BY OTHERS. 



02/11 CANADIAN ARCHITECT 27 




BIO-REMEDIATION CELL: LONG SECTION 

1 INFLOW CHANNEL 

2 RETENTION POOL: FISH/AMPHIBIAN HABITAT 

3 HIGH MARSH: AQUATIC/TERRESTIAL FOOD CHAIN HABITAT 

4 LOW MARSH: AQUATIC FOOD CHAIN HABITAT 

5 SMALL AQUATIC ORGANISM ENVIRONMENT TO ABSORB NUTRIENTS AND CONSUME BACTERIA 

6 OUTFLOW CHANNEL 



it so. The remediated wastewater— 350,000 cubic 
metres of it each day— is especially precious in a 
city that normally relies on desalinated seawater, 
a costly and energy- intensive source. Aside from 
four air blowers, the Wadi facility uses no ma- 
chinery, and its capital cost was a third of a con- 
ventional wastewater treatment plant. 

Instead of being immediately extracted as re- 
cycled greywater for the city, the remediated 
water is allowed to flow for another 28 kilo- 
metres, becoming the lifeblood of a new series of 
urban parks. In one area, the water snakes over 
the rock outcroppings from a 500 -year- old stone 
dam. Gut-stone steps ending in a gravel beach 
reach out into the water. Downstream, the water 
pools into a string of artificial lakes, stocked for 
fishing with surplus tilapia from the bio -remedi- 
ation facility. "It's a very unique experience to 
have open bodies of water within the desert en- 
vironment," affirms Wensley. Riyadh's public 
agrees— they began picnicking in the Wadi while 
it was under construction, and now patronize the 
parks by the tens of thousands each weekend. 

While the Wadi Hanifah has shown remarkable 
progress, for MTP, this is just the beginning. Re- 
mediation of additional effluent from the muni- 
cipal plant continues, and another series of parks 
is under construction, connecting side valleys 
into the main Wadi system. They're also working 
on establishing a Wadi Hanifah Directorate that 
would ensure the ongoing protection, manage- 
ment and enhancement of the river valley. An 
educational centre and program are another 
critical component. "This project will probably 
still be under construction in a hundred years, 



top left AN AERIAL PHOTO ILLUSTRATES THE 
OVERALL SYSTEM OF BIO-REMEDIATION CELLS 
THAT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SUBSTANTIAL 
CLEANSING OF THE WADI HANIFAH. 




28 CANADIAN ARCHITECT 02/1 1 



CLIENT ARRIYADH DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY 

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT/PLANNING TEAM GEORGE STOCKTON 

DREW WENSLEY, ERIC KLAVER, TARA MCCARTHY 

CONTRACTOR BADAN AGRICULTURAL AND CONTRACTING COMPANY 

WATER AND WASTEWATER NELSON ENVIRONMENTAL (WINNIPEG) 

AREA 4,500 KM 2 , 1 20 KM LONG (TOTAL WATERSHED SITE) 

BUDGET $600,000 

COMPLETION APRIL 201 (RESTORATION CONTINUES) 




BIO-REMEDIATION SITE PLAN 



there's just so much to do," opines Stockton. 
"It's got enough scope to evolve, and respond to 
new needs, and that's the hallmark of a very 
good project." 

Meanwhile, the firm is at work on master plans 
for Mecca and Medina— Saudi cities that also have 
sick watersheds— and their approach is garnering 
international interest. Wensley has been asked 
to present the Wadi Hanifah twice at the United 



right, top to bottom AN AERIAL VIEW OF WADI 
HANIFAH; THE CLOSE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN 
THE RESTORED RIVER SYSTEM AND THE ADJA- 
CENT HIGHWAY INFRASTRUCTURE; LOCALS 
CAN NOW SAFELY ENJOY A DAY-LONG PIC- 
NIC; MEN RELAXING NEAR THE CENTRAL POOL 
AND WATER RETENTION AREA. 




Nations, and the firm is excited about applying 
the process and lessons they've learned to situa- 
tions elsewhere. The bio -remediation facility in 
particular— built with basic materials and un- 
skilled labour— holds enormous potential as an 
adaptable tool for tackling the globally ubiquitous 
problem of urban wastewater. 

At its core, the success of the project and its 
future potential is a quintessentially Canadian 
story, built on strong experience with diverse 
natural environments and cultures at home, and 
a long-term, consensus -building approach. 
"Canadian consultants can go to challenging 
areas around the world, and with the right 
attitudes and eyes wide open, do superb work," 
concludes Stockton. "Better than almost anybody 
else." CA 

Elsa Lam is a freelance writer and scholar. She stud- 
ied architecture at the University of Waterloo and 
McGill, and is completing a PhD in architecture and 
landscape history at Columbia University 




02/11 CANADIAN ARCHITECT 29 



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02/11 CANADIAN ARCHITECT 31 



CALENDAR 



Tailoring Form: A Brief Look at 
the Anonymous History of the 
Template 

January 2, 9 -March 3, 2,011 This exhi- 
bition by Natalie Fizer and Glenn 
Forley of Fizer Forley in New York 
City takes place at the Eric Arthur 
Gallery in the John H. Daniels Fac- 
ulty of Architecture, Landscape and 
Design at the University of Toronto. 
The templates in this exhibition, 
culled from a range of industries 
and professions— shipbuilding, 
automobile design, navigation, 
architecture, and fashion— register 
shifts in the standardization of pro- 
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WE: Vancouver — 12 Manifestos 
for the City 

February 12, -May 1, 2,011 An exhibi- 
tion at the Vancouver Art Gallery 
celebrates the innovation and di- 
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together more than 45 projects from 
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literature and activism. 

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Contemporary Spaces for 
Teaching and Learning 

February 2,1, 2,011 Andrew Harrison of 
Space that Works, Peter Clegg of 
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chitecture, and Derek Lee of the PWL 
Partnership will lecture at 6:30pm in 
Room 100 of the Mathematics Build- 
ing at UBG in Vancouver. 

IDC/IIDA Leaders' Breakfast 

February 2,4,, 2,011 More than 300 in- 
terior designers, architects, media, 
government representatives, and 
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ness leaders will attend this mor- 
ning event at the Vancouver Con- 
vention Centre. 
www. idcanada. org 

Drum Parrish lecture 

February^, 2,011 Drura Parrish of the 



University of Kentucky's College of 
Design speaks at 7:00pm at the Up- 
town Stage and Screen in Calgary. 
www. evds. ucalgary ca 

Todd Saunders: Recent Works 

March 1, 2,011 Todd Saunders of 
Saunders Architecture in Norway 
delivers this lecture at 6:30pm at 
the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, 
Landscape and Design at the Uni- 
versity of Toronto. 

High Performance and Sustain- 
able Building Summit 

March 1-2,, 2,011 Taking place at the 
Hilton Garden Inn Toronto Airport, 
the High Performance and Sustain- 
able Buildings Summit brings 
together leaders from around the 
world to share innovative strategies 
on greening old and new buildings. 
This year's summit will provide an 
exceptional learning opportunity for 
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their sustainable building projects 
and refine their professional exper- 



tise. Attendees include architects, 
building owners, public officials 
and other key decision- makers. 
www.greenbuildingsummit. ca 

Larry Beasley lecture 

March 2,, 2,011 Larry Beasley, former 
Director of Planning for the City of 
Vancouver, delivers a lecture at 
6:00pm at the National Gallery of 
Canada in Ottawa. 

Arcadian Urbanism 

March 3, 2,011 Jerry van Eyck, princi- 
pal of Imelk in New York, delivers 
the Cornelia Halm-Webb lecture at 
6:00pm at UBC Robson Square in 
Vancouver. 

Sustaining Beauties 2.0, Aes- 
thetics as an Ecosystem Service 

March 8, 2,011 Elizabeth Meyer of the 
University of Virginia School of 
Architecture delivers this lecture at 
6:30pm at the Daniels Faculty of 
Architecture, Landscape and Design 
at the University of Toronto. 




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Superbigatopolis 

March 8, 2,011 Michael Maltzan, 
principal of Michael Maltzan Archi- 
tecture in Los Angeles, delivers this 
lecture at 6:00pm at UBC Robson 
Square in Vancouver. 

Homa Farjadi lecture 

March 14, 2,011 Homa Farjadi, pro- 
fessor and principal of Farjadi 
Architects in London, delivers a 
lecture at 6:00pm at the National 
Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. 

Barbara Imhof: Architecture 
Beyond the Earth's Horizon 

March 14, 2,011 This lecture by Bar- 
bara Imhof of Vienna's Liquifer 
Systems Group takes place at 
6:00pm in Room G10 of the 
Macdonald- Harrington Building at 
McGill University. 

Daoust Lestage — From the City 
to the Object 

March 1$, 2,011 Renee Daoust of 
Daoust Lestage Inc. in Montreal de- 



livers this lecture at 6:30pm at the 
Daniels Faculty of Architecture, 
Landscape and Design at the Uni- 
versity of Toronto. 

Marjan Eggermont lecture 

March 17, 2,011 Marjan Eggermont, 
artist and instructor at the Schulich 
School of Engineering speaks at 
7:00pm at the Uptown Stage and 
Screen in Calgary. 
www. evds. ucalgary. ca 

Why Manhattan is the Greenest 
City in North America 

March 17, 2,011 New York-based 
David Owen, staff writer at The New 
Yorker and author of Green Metropolis, 
delivers this lecture at 8:00pm at 
the Playhouse Theatre in Vancouver. 



FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT 
THESE, AND ADDITIONAL LIST- 
INGS OF CANADIAN AND INTER- 
NATIONAL EVENTS, PLEASE VISIT 
www.canadianarchitect.com 



Unilock Architectural Products 
Sales Position 

Unilock Ltd., the leading manufacturer of concrete paving stones and 
retaining walls, has an immediate opening for a bilingual Technical 
Representative, Architectural Product Sales. The primary role will be to 
secure Unilock product specifications and sales for commercial, industrial 
and municipal projects. The primary job functions include the following: 

To work with architectural and landscape architectural professionals in both 
the private and public sectors in Ontario and Quebec. Organize and execute 
Unilock presentations to these design professionals and owners. Maintain 
and grow the number of sales and specifications of Unilock proprietary 
products. Follow up and track projects from early design stage through final 
sale and installation of Unilock products. Advise the design consultants in 
the proper selection and specification of products with the correct technical 
support. Work all scheduled local association trade shows, meetings, 
conferences and other tasks. 

Experience & skills required: 

The candidate must be fluently bilingual with excellent communication skills 
in French and English. 

College or university graduate with a background in architecture, landscape 
architecture or engineering. Preference will be given to those with previous 
sales or related experience. Strong computer skills are required. 

Unilock Ltd. offers a competitive salary and excellent employee benefits. 
If you are interested in a challenging position, and pursuing a career in a fast 
paced manufacturing sales environment, we'd like to hear from you. 

Interested applicants, please submit resume with salary expectations in 
confidence to: 

Sales Manager, Commercial Sales 
Email: dave.laurie@unilock.com 

Unilock regrets that due to the volume of applicants only those selected for an interview will be 
contacted. Please no phone calls. 



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l CANADIAN ARCHITECT 33 



BACKPAGE 



HONEST EDWARDIANISM 




FOR DECADES, HAND-PAINTED SIGNS CREATED TO ENTICE CUSTOMERS 
AND ANNOUNCE THE LATEST BARGAINS HAVE DEFINED THE AESTHETIC OF 
HONEST ED'S, TORONTO'S FAMED AND ICONIC BARGAIN DEPARTMENT 
STORE. 

text JOHN MARTINS-MANTEIGA 

photos DODY KIALA/JOHN MARTINS-MANTEIGA 

It's io:oopm at Bloor and Bathurst Streets in Toronto. The corner is ablaze 
in light as the block-long marquee blinks, hums, and twirls. The place could 
be Las Vegas, but it's Toronto, and Honest Ed's— the bargain department 
store opened by Ed Mirvish in the late 1940s— rages on with its light fantas- 
tic long after the customers have gone home. 

In Toronto, Honest Ed's remains a beacon that has touched the lives of 
Canadians in very real ways. We used to be able to ask almost any immigrant 
who began life in this city about their first shopping experience and they 
would invariably tell you that it was at Honest Ed's. 

Mirvish sold his wares with a barrage of loud neon signs, a carnival 
atmosphere, witty slogans, and corny jokes— often at his own expense. As a 
communication tool, the visual style is "funhouse"— loud, colourful, an ap- 
proach that is "of the people." 

No other brand identity is so visually distilled, prevalent and easy to use 
as Honest Ed's ubiquitous hand-painted signs or "point-of-sale show 
cards," as the in-house painters call it. The iconography is all Ed. No Madi- 
son Avenue marketing here. Ed's manner and shtick is old-fashioned 




left ONE OF THE THOUSANDS OF HAND-PAINTED SIGNS THAT HAVE 
BEEN USED FOR DECADES TO PROMOTE FEATURE ITEMS ON SALE AT 
HONEST ED'S, above USING AN OLD-FASHIONED APPROACH TO MER- 
CHANDISING, MASS DISPLAY AND SIGNAGE HAS DEFINED THIS TORON- 
TO INSTITUTION SINCE 1948. 



populism and salesmanship. The typographical shtick has traditionally been 
expressed through a distinct style of hand-painted tempera signs, decked 
out in primary colours with gorgeous swirling typography. The signs are 
busy and fast, while telling you in a not so subtle way to come in, buy, and 
get out! 

In its heyday, Mirvish employed an army of painters working at a hectic 
pace to produce the thousands of hand-painted signs assigned to each indi- 
vidual product. Today only two painters remain: Doug Kerr and Wayne Reu- 
ben. Reuben says that the style of the signs was developed over time and 
passed on through apprentices just like him. Reuben was raw talent when 
he started in 1967; the old-timers taught him from the ground up. He came 
into his own by developing a star symbol that finishes all of his work. He 
says, "It was something that I picked. I drew them to fill in the space and it 
became my trademark." Kerr says the "casual style" of the signs is a form of 
freehand style that you "slash" out. "Everyone has a casual style, but no two 
are ever the same and there are always idiosyncrasies," he admits. 

Kerr and Reuben are what remain of a long- established tradition of the 
hand-painted-sign industry in Canada. And Honest Ed's is one of the last 
remaining retail institutions to employ painters who can generate mer- 
chandising, wayfinding and information design. 

Ed Mirvish passed away in 2007, yet he is everywhere. The hand-painted 
confections found at Honest Ed's are a delightful anachronism disconnect- 
ed from our contemporary digital world. These iconic signs awaken the 
child in us; they speak to us and about us. And as long as they remain, we 
will always have Honest Ed's telling us to "buy, buy, buy!" CA 

John Martins -Manteiga is the director of Dominion Modern and the author of 
Peter Dickinson. His new book Metro focuses on the Montreal subway, and is 
due to be released soon. 



34 CANADIAN ARCHITECT 02/11 



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